Eric McElvenny


The Backstory:

McElvenny lost his right leg below the knee in combat during his third tour of duty Afghanistan in 2011. As he recovered, he resolved to compete in an Ironman triathlon. He has succeeded eight times over, while competing in 50 other races all over the world. He finished second in the 2019 national championships, then won the 2021 title by a handful of seconds. McElvenny will be competing in the Paralympics for the first time in 2021.

Away from the racecourse:
A highly sought public speaker, McElvenny makes frequent appearances at conferences, retreats, and corporate events. He and his wife have three children.

In their own words:
“I’ve been told over and over again to race my race. It’s good to have goals, but I have found that focusing on me and my capabilities is much more rewarding than focusing on everyone else around me.”

“Every year since I was little, I’ve watched the Olympics in awe. I looked up to the athletes and rooted for our country. . . .  I got to wear the uniform as a Marine. Now I get to represent the country again. Nothing has made me prouder.”

Learn more:
Team USA page
Challenged Athletes Foundation
KOAA, “McElvenny Has Served His Country in More Ways Than One”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “McElvenny Defied All Odds to Qualify for Tokyo”



1st-time Paralympian


  • Sport: Triathlon
  • Limb Difference: Right below knee
  • DOB: 5/12/1983
  • Residence: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Classification: PTS4